Home' Navy News : September 16th 2010 Contents Merici College ....
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September 16, 2010
REMEMBER that even if
you use a tax agent to lodge
your tax return, you are
responsible for the deduc-
tions you claim.
Some Navy members have used
unregistered tax agents in the past, so
it's important that you seek a reputa-
ble and registered tax practitioner. To
check if your tax agent is registered,
home and work
The cost of travel to and from work
is usually not an allowable deduction.
However, you can claim a deduction
for the cost of transporting bulky tools
and equipment between home and
work only if the following apply:
You are required to use them at
There is no secure area for storing
them at your workplace.
David keeps his kitbag at home
because there is no secure place to
keep it at work. David's unit was
placed on a 24-hour high readiness
notice which required him to bring
his kitbag into work. The cost of
transporting the kitbag into work is an
Home office expenses
If you work at home you may incur
running expenses for services such as
lighting, heating and cooling, clean-
ing costs and the cost of repairs to
furniture in the home office. You can
also claim the work-related part of the
decline in value (depreciation) of your
office furniture and fittings.
You can claim a deduction for all
the running costs for the home office
if that area is used exclusively (100%)
for work-related activities.
If you work in an area of the home
not used exclusively (100%) for work-
related activities, you can claim a
deduction for part of the total running
costs if you work there when others
aren't present or you use a separate
You can either keep a diary of the
details of your actual costs and your
work-related use of that area of the
house, or use a fixed rate of 26 cents
per hour for use of the facilities in that
area of the house.
Jim is a Navy officer. He works in
his lounge room where the rest of the
family can watch television, so the
costs of lighting and heating/cooling
are private and not deductible.
If Jim uses the room when others
aren't present, or goes into a separate
room, he can claim a deduction for
additional running costs associated
with the work activities. This applies
even though the room is not set aside
solely as a home office.
If you are doing an educational
course that results in a formal qualifi-
cation, you can claim a deduction for
self-education expenses at item D4 on
your tax return if:
The course maintains or improves
the specific skills or knowledge
you need in your current role; or
The course results in, or is likely
to result in, an increase in your
income from your current role.
Self-education expenses can
include textbooks, stationery, student
union fees, course fees, certain travel
expenses and the decline in value
(depreciation) of equipment to the
extent it is used for self-education.
If you incur costs for attending
seminars, conferences, workshops or
training courses connected to your
work activities, you should claim them
as other work-related expenses (item
D5 on your tax return).
You cannot claim any costs paid or
reimbursed by your employer.
Joan is a technician and is study-
ing for an advanced system technician
diploma. Because the course relates to
her current job and will improve her
chance of promotion, Joan can claim a
deduction for its cost.
If Joan was studying to become a
medical officer, she could not claim a
deduction because it would be unre-
lated to her current role.
Gym memberships and
Most Navy members must maintain
a high level of physical fitness, but
some in special units must maintain
fitness levels well above the general
Navy standard. Examples of these
include physical trainers and clearance
You can only claim a deduction for
costs for attending a fitness course or
gym membership fees if you can dem-
You're required to maintain a level
of fitness well above the general
Navy standard; and
Physical activity is an essential and
regular element of your job.
John is paid extra remuneration to
maintain the very highest level of fit-
ness. To maintain this level, John does
extra training three times a week at a
city gym. His gym fees are an allow-
Jennifer undertakes fitness training
three times per week while on duty.
She also attends her local gym in her
own time. Because Jennifer is not
required to maintain an above standard
level of fitness, she cannot claim a
deduction for her gym fees.
As part of your physical train-
ing you are required to wear suitable
sports attire. Whether you can claim
a deduction for the cost of this attire
depends on the type of clothing worn.
Is your tax fit for
The types are: Conventional physical
training clothing, Non-compulsory
physical training clothing and
Compulsory physical training cloth-
ing.Conventional clothing such as
tracksuits, shorts, t-shirts, socks and
sports shoes are not deductable.
Although certain Navy units have
designed their own physical training
clothing with the logo or emblem of
their particular unit, this clothing is
non-compulsory and is not part of the
traditional Navy uniform, and cannot
be claimed as a deduction.
Where physical training clothing
forms part of a compulsory uniform,
you may claim a deduction for costs
Examples of compulsory physical
training clothing include official mon-
ogrammed shirts, shorts and tracksuits
that clearly identify to the public that
you are a member of the ADF, such as
a shirt with an official monogram of a
To maintain physical fitness, many
members of the Navy choose to par-
ticipate in a sporting activity.
A deduction is allowable for
expenses incurred when taking part in
a sporting activity if you are consid-
ered to be on duty while participating
in the activity and:
You're participating as an official
Navy representative at inter-Ser-
vice or combined Service competi-
You're required to take part in the
activity as part of your normal
income earning activities.
Doug is a submariner in the Navy
and he's required to play rugby union
on his weekly sports afternoon, when
he is considered to be on duty.
He also plays with the same Navy
team in the local civilian competition
Doug can claim a deduction for
expenses incurred for his sports after-
noon, but not for his weekend sport.
Further information regarding common
deductions specific to Australian Defence
Force members is available at www.
ato.gov.au/individuals and select:
Your situation -- Employment -- Work-
related expenses -- Occupational guides
to help you complete your tax return.
The level of work-related deductions made by some Navy members in their
income tax returns has been noted by the Australian Taxation Office as unusually
high. This guide may help you correctly claim work-related deductions.
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